As most would know, World war II made a huge impact on the whole world. But what some may not know is the effect it made on Americans. As I was reading Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children for a second time, I realized the world war made the story somewhat real. The book is obviously about peculiar children, but I never realized the impact that war had on the book and its characters. The main characters grandpa, Abe, was in the war and he fled from war to an island in Wales. When he got there he found Miss Peregrines home, which he felt was the right place for him after all the chaos. He didn’t have any magic powers, but in a way he felt peculiar himself. I feel as though many people fleeing from war felt the same way and the book subliminally showed that through Abe. Reading this book when I was a young girl versus now really brought out the deeper meanings behind the writing. Although the book didn’t mention war as much as it did odd kids, It shows a tiny glimpse into war and a bigger look into the way Americans view it.
During the war, American life shifted. Food was rationed, anxiety within the people skyrocketed, limits on how much of a product can be purchased became relevant, and day to day life was different. Americans had to give up their normal lives in order to prepare for war and help the troops. “Do with less-so they’ll have enough” were signs made to urge Americans to help the troops (History.com Editors). With that slogan, came along the rationing. People were limited to what they could buy and how much they could buy. They had to give up most of what they had in order to keep our troops healthy. Many were angry with this, but some were happy to help even if that meant struggling themselves. Many wanted to participate in the war to help the other countries struggling but, many were still filled with anxiety over the idea of getting involved in another war. Americans were already going through the Great Depression, so getting involved in the war could either make or break the country. The Americans were scared for themselves and their country but also scared especially for the Jewish people in Germany.
The war caused heartbreak throughout the world and was one of the worst events in history. Although the war was awful, America did benefit economically afterward. Millions of jobs were created, industrializing boomed, consumer goods expanded, and the Great Depression was over. Women during the war took over for the men who were in the war. Which made them gain more respect after war and even be able to have the same jobs as the men. This was a huge move for women during this time and a big moment in history that Elizabeth Cady Stanton would have wanted to see. Jobs were open for anyone and unemployment decreased like crazy. We became more of a middle-class society than ever before (Doris Goodwin). Housing became nicer which led to suburbs. Technology had increased, which came with new inventions. Televisions were very popular and many had one in their home. America had so many new ways of life which turned out to be a great thing. The war was awful, but it created this new life for Americans. Which had hope and promise, that some may call the American Dream.
The war may have had positive impacts on America, but as Newton would say, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. So, of course, there were negative impacts as well. There was the reduction of the New Deal funding, an increase in the federal deficit, rise to American corruption, and the overall loss of millions of people. The funding for the New Deal was supposed to help fight discrimination in the job force. Without the money for it, it could have led to more discrimination throughout the country. With more discrimination in America, the less equal everyone becomes. Many were prejudice against other races so without the New deals to help, it could have made a lot of things worse. After the war, America was in huge debt. Our debt went from 9 billion to more than 98.5 billion (Mack Dean). That is a crazy amount of money and definitely was damaging to our country. Another thing is big corporations coming in and taking away from small businesses. The small businesses found themselves competing with large corporations and most of the time were not able to succeed and had to close. This was a result of the U.S making government contracts to help during the war. Of course the biggest negative is the loss of millions of innocent people. The United States has to live with the fact of entering war late and possibly causing more lives to be at risk. The thought of this war has across the whole world is pretty much all negative. But for Americans, do the positive impacts of war outweigh the negatives?
My book made me think about the war and the impact it has on America. World war two was barely the main point of my book, but it still somehow made a huge impact on the story. I researched more to find more about how the war affected America and while reading many different articles, I saw the different opinions of the war. Some people think very negatively about the impact of war and some think of the impact in a very positive way. They all agree on one thing though, that the war was awful and none of the people who died shouldn’t have had to go through that. Wartime was very depressing for Americans and we didn’t step in until the last minute. I personally am glad we did. If we saved even just one person from dying, then to me its worth it. However, I know others who are angry about going to war or for not going soon enough. Overall the war greatly impacted American society for the better. Yes, the negatives of war were awful and still are, but the war made our country stronger. It got rid of the depression and made the American dream. Of course, everyone would wish the war never happened, but it did and you can’t alter history or dwell on it. But what you can do is learn from it and appreciate what you got out of it. The war truly had a huge effect on America and reading about it shows how literacy also affects the way we view certain events.
Dean, Mack. “Negative Effects on the U.S. Economy Caused by World War 2.” World War 2 Facts, 15 Apr. 2018, http://www.worldwar2facts.org/negative-effects-on-the-u-s-economy-caused-by-world-war-2.html
Goodwin, Doris. “The Way We Won: America’s Economic Breakthrough During World War II.” The American Prospect, 19 Dec. 2001, https://prospect.org/health/way-won-america-s-economic-breakthrough-world-war-ii/.
History.com Editors. “The U.S. Home Front During World War II.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 24 Mar. 2010, https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/us-home-front-during-world-war-ii.
Riggs, Ransom. Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children. Philadelphia, Pa. : Quirk Books, 2011. Print